Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants


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Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583

General Bulletins

Click on a bulletin to view details.

MS09 Emergency Lighting:-

Whenever there is a loss of mains lighting in a fire condition it is likely that confusion and accidents will happen. Therefore the need for emergency lighting is important for two principal reasons, the first is to reveal a safe exit out of an emergency situation, the second being the avoidance of any hazards which may be present along the escape route. In this edition we consider the merits and virtues of emergency lighting.

MS08 Fire Suppression Systems:-

Since the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole, environmental moves and associated research led to the Vienna Agreement. This was rapidly followed by the signing of the Montreal Protocol, under the United Nations Environment Programme relating to substances, which deplete the ozone layer. Such international agreements have led to the rapid cessation of further production of halons due to their high ozone depletion characteristics. However considering the number of existing installations dependent upon halons in the UK, it was necessary to introduce transitional arrangements. Although users can purchase halon to recharge their systems via the Halon Bank managed by the Halon Users Consortium, this supply cannot be sustained so extensive research has been undertaken into the development of halon alternatives.

MS07 Fire Safety & the Disabled:-

Requirements for the provision of disabled access in buildings was first introduced into the Building Regulations over 15 years ago. Since then more detailed requirements have been incorporated in addition to other anti-discriminatory legislation, which place a statutory duty of care on building designers and occupiers to ensure that adequate measures are incorporated into new and existing buildings to enable the safe evacuation of people with disabilities.

MS06 Fire Risk Assessments:-

The risk of fire has various implications to any organisation not only in terms of life, but also in the risk to the building fabric / contents and the continuity of the organisation’s activity or indeed its continued existence. Risks may exist which are peculiar to the operation of the premises in terms of processes, occupation or perhaps the nature and extent of the building structure. Specific and general threats need to be identified and this qualification and quantification process forms the basis of a fire risk assessment.

MS05 Dealing with False Alarms:-

When a business is being constantly interrupted by false alarms, the fire alarm and detection system which causes them becomes a liability and eventually may be ignored with potentially disastrous results. Following on from the previous bulletin, "Choosing a Fire Alarm System", we now consider the subject of preventing unwanted false alarms.

MS04 Choosing a Fire Alarm System:-

Choosing the correct fire alarm system often requires a fine balance between what is required in order to provide early warning in the event of a fire, the need to satisfy legislation and the issue of cost against risk for life safety and property protection. In this edition we consider the options which need to be reviewed in order to ensure the suitability of a fire alarm system.

MS03 Fire Doors & Screens:-

When fire upgrading works are required to premises which contain specialist joinery items, care must be taken when meeting the requirement of the fire certificate to avoid unnecessary replacement and potential conflict with planning and heritage bodies. In this edition we consider the method of upgrading timber-panelled doors from 15 minutes fire resistance to over 30 minutes without any outward change to the appearance of the door.

MS02 Sprinklers:-

It has long been accepted by those involved in fire safety that the most effective means by which to control an outbreak of fire is the installation of automatic fire suppression. Automatic fire suppression systems are designed to detect a fire at an early stage and depending upon the nature and development of the fire, either to control or extinguishes the outbreak. In this edition we concentrate on the category of fire protection and in particular the aspect of fire suppression by fixed and automatic systems.

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  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & The Fire Service - Part 18

    In LWF's Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at firefighting. In part 17, we began to look at how firefighting is undertaken by the Fire Service and their objectives and modes of operation when arriving at a fire. In part 19, tactical firefighting is discussed.While the general objectives of tactical firefighting were given in the last blog, there are various methods used by firefighters...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Open-sided Car Parks - Part 52

    In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 51 of this series, we were looking at the potential for fire spread from one area of a building to another through external surfaces, before moving on to begin to look at the necessary arrangements for car parks. In part 52, we continue on that theme by considering...


  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Calculating RSET - Part 9

    In LWFs blog series for those who work in Facilities Management or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety we have been looking at fire safety engineering. In part 8, we looked at how ASET (Available Safe Egress Time) is calculated and how this should always be more than the RSET (Required Safe Egress Time). While ASET involves a series of calculations relating to fire growth and the building itself, RSET, also...


  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Firefighting & The Fire Service - Part 17

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and others in the business of building design, we have been looking at firefighting. In part 16, we discussed first-aid firefighting by the occupancy and the use of hose reels to do so. In part 17, we will begin to look at firefighting from the point of view of the Fire Services.The particular objectives of the Fire Service in a given situation will be decided upon...


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - External Fire Spread - Part 51

    In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 50 of this series, we discussed the potential for external fire spread including calculating unprotected areas and consideration of the surfaces of external walls and roofs. In part 51, we continue looking at external fire spread, starting with junctions of different elements.At the junction of wall and...


Case Studies

The Wohl Neuroscience Institute - Fire Safety, Strategy & Engineering
Key Facts: Client: King’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute Project Manager: MACE Ltd Designers: Devereux Architects/Allies and Morrison Approximate Size: 7,400m2 Description of the Project:...

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General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

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Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

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